PicassoMD’s “Why”

Simon Sinek popularized the idea that WHY you do something is often more important than WHAT you do. PicassoMD’s “Why” was born out of the challenges and frustrations PicassoMD’s co-founder and co-CEO, Reza Sanai, experienced when practicing medicine within the U.S. healthcare system.

“I went into medicine with the hopes and desires to provide care and comfort to my patients but quickly came up against the realities of inefficient and unnecessary medicine practiced in silos,” recounts Dr. Sanai.

To combat this, Dr. Sanai focused on connecting with other colleagues in hopes of improving the care patients received. He offered his personal mobile number to primary care providers (PCPs) with a simple request: “Before you send any patient to the emergency room, or if you have any questions, just text me.” 

And text him they did! Day after day, providers would reach out with questions ranging from the routine to the urgent. A typical scenario would involve a patient presenting with a set of symptoms and an abnormal EKG. The PCP would send Dr. Sanai, a board certified cardiologist, a photo of the EKG and key details of the patient’s situation. Within minutes, Dr. Sanai would help the PCP determine how to handle each scenario.

“I went into medicine with the hopes and desires to provide care and comfort to my patients but quickly came up against the realities of inefficient and unnecessary medicine practiced in silos,” recounts Dr. Sanai.

But in helping colleagues provide better care, something unexpected happened. The PCPs working with Dr. Sanai noticed a dramatic reduction in cardiology ER and specialist visits. Yet Dr. Sanai experienced an increase in referrals from these same providers. How could this be?

By providing good care for patients who did not need to be seen, Dr. Sanai was creating availability for those who did. Borderline cases which had previously been referred to cardiology were now being addressed within the primary care provider’s office. When a referral was necessary, the PCPs knew they could trust Dr. Sanai with their patients and so they sent them his way.

Dr. Sanai thought ”what if we could scale this?” by using technology to immediately connect PCPs with specialists across every specialty and better assign next levels of care while the patient is still in the office. 

PicassoMD was born out of these early interactions and inherited not only the simple workflow and immediate responses of text messaging, but also the philosophy of providers dedicated to helping one another provide timely and more appropriate care.

PicassoMD’s mission, our WHY, is to “transition quantity care into quality care” by helping to facilitate the shift from fee-for-service to value-based care, where the economic interests of providers are aligned with patient outcomes.

In our next blog post we’ll explore “The How” and dive into why we believe our model is unique in its ability to positively impact the healthcare community.